LAFLIN — In a response to Communists celebrating workers on May Day (May 1 each year), Pope Pius XII created the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955, a tradition that continues today.
Each year, the Oblates of St. Joseph Seminary on Route 315 honors St. Joseph the Worker with a special Mass on Labor Day. Joining the celebration this year was Diocese of Scranton’s Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, the Most Rev. John M. Dougherty, D.D.
This was not Bishop Dougherty’s first trip to the Oblates for the Labor Day Mass. “I’m always pleased to come on Fr. Sibilano’s invitation to honor the patron saint,” Dougherty said. Bishop Dougherty was the official celebrant of the Mass.
The feast honors St. Joseph, a carpenter by trade and foster father of Jesus, who is associated with labor, so it is fitting he is honored on the United States’ national holiday of Labor Day.
Rev. Joseph Sibilano, director of the Oblates of St. Joseph, hosts the yearly Mass celebrating the worker. St. Joseph is the patron saint of the Oblates.
A full choir was on hand for the service as approximately 225 people attended the 11 a.m. Mass.
“I’ve been coming to the Oblates since I’m a little girl with my family as we would pray three days before the Labor Day Mass,” said Rosie Fasciana, of West Pittston. “We pray for the people who are working and the unemployed who need or are looking for a job.”
“My name is Joseph and Joseph is the patron saint of the worker and every year I come to pray for the employed and the unemployed and we can all come together to get everyone work,” said business owner Joe Valenti.
Members of the Knights of Columbus 498 of Pittston took part in the Mass, along with several Oblates priests, deacons and altar servers.
At the conclusion of the Mass, bread was distributed to those in attendance as a symbol of sustenance created by workers.
Following the service, food and beverages were offered to the choir and to those who helped with the Mass.
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at email@example.com.